Waukegan was on the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway seven miles east of Conroe in eastern Montgomery County. Around 1892 the Caruthers family arrived in the area and established a general store. They eventually constructed a sawmill, planing mill, and large lumberyard. Around 1900 the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe extended its Conroe-Cleveland branch line through the settlement. In 1903 a local post office was established with the designation Waukegan, presumably named after the city in Illinois. That year there were seventeen pupils enrolled at Waukegan's White common school and twenty at its Black school. Most Black families lived north of the rail line that bisected the town, and most Whites lived south of the tracks. The Caruthers lumber interests were purchased by the Keystone Lumber Company about 1910. By 1914, in addition to its sawmills and lumberyard, Waukegan had a depot, a boarding house, a telephone exchange, a recreation hall, several shops, and a population of 200. The town's Black community had its own church, baseball field, dance hall, and at least one store. During the 1920s local timber sources began to dwindle, and the town's fortunes declined. By 1925 the population had fallen to an estimated 100. In the late 1920s Waukegan's schools were consolidated with the Conroe Independent School District. The post office was closed in 1928. Some oil exploration occurred in the area after 1931. In the early 1940s State Highway 105 bypassed the town to the north. By 1943 the population had been reduced to an estimated twenty, and only one business was reported in the community. After the 1950s only scattered farm dwellings and a battered signpost near the Waukegan siding on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe rail line east of Farm Road 1485 remained to mark the former townsite.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Charles Christopher Jackson | © Texas State Historical Association
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